DOJ IG: Obama May Have Known FBI Was Surveilling Trump Campaign
Former President Barack Obama may have been aware the FBI was surveilling Donald Trump’s presidential campaign based on Russian election interference claims, the newly released audit by the inspector general at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed.
In DOJ IG Michael Horowitz’s report, then-FBI Director James Comey said although Obama did not explicitly ask for an investigation into Trump, he urged the FBI to warn soon to be president of the surveillance that was taking place through counterintelligence defensive briefings.
Comey expressed reservations to the DOJ IG about approving the Page FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] request that enabled the investigation of the Trump campaign. The former FBI director expressed concern the source for the FISA request was a Hillary Clinton-linked partisan source — Christopher Steele – whose information “had not yet been corroborated.”
Notes taken by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe during a July 2016 meeting suggested Obama knew it was Trump who was under suspicion and in the FBI crosshairs, not his pal Hillary Clinton.
The IG report revealed:
Comey told us that he received no requests from the White House to investigate members of the Trump campaign or inquiries about whether the campaign was involved with the efforts by the Russians to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections.
Comey said that he recalled generally the administration’s interest in what the FBI was doing as a member of the USIC [United States Intelligence Community] to understand and defeat Russia’s efforts to interfere with the elections. In fact, according to [then Crossfire Hurricane Section Chief Peter] Strzok, the White House requested a briefing from the USIC in the fall of 2016 about actions the Russians were taking to interfere in the elections.
Comey said [that during a 2016 meeting] he thought it was important that the president know the nature of the FBI’s efforts without providing any specifics. Comey said although he did not recall exactly what he said, he may have said there were four individuals with “some association or connection to the Trump campaign.”